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On November 8, 2018, 64-year-old Yuriy Savelyev was arrested and put in pretrial detention during mass raids on believers. What is known about him?
Yuriy was born in 1954 in the village of Krokhalyovka (Novosibirsk oblast). His mother died when he was a month old, leaving his elder sister to play an important part in his upbringing. After graduation from school, he became a plumber and worked at a metallurgic factory. He used to train himself by cold water dousing.
Yuriy has two adult children from his first marriage. His second wife died suddenly after just two days of illness, and this greatly affected Yuriy. Realizing the fallacy of seeking solace in alcohol, he became interested in religion and found that the Bible provided logical answers to his questions. After a period of spiritual quest, in 1996 he decided to devote his life to serving the Creator.
Although Yuriy’s relatives, including his children, reject his religious views, they are all perplexed and outraged over his criminal prosecution. “He’s a good man and hasn’t done anything wrong and should not be in prison,” they say. His children are also sure of his innocence.